Postal Article Forwarding Services (PAFS) - Regulating the delivery of postal articles

When items are purchased online from retailers overseas the delivery to the consumer in Malta is dependent on the options made available by the retailer. The retailer may provide for the delivery of items via a cross-border postal service or in some cases cross-border delivery may not be an option at all (i.e. delivery may be limited to the country where the retailer is established).

When purchasing items online from retailers overseas, consumers in Malta may be in a position to avail themselves of an alternative delivery service - referred to as Postal Articles Forwarding Services (PAFS). Such services, which have emerged from the significant growth in eCommerce and changing consumer purchasing habits, are distinct from conventional end-to-end cross-border postal services and work by introducing a third party to the postal delivery chain.

This document consults on the MCA’s view that a PAFS operator in Malta that uses its delivery network to distribute  items purchased by its customers from an overseas retailer constitutes a postal service, and therefore requires an authorisation under the Postal Services Act, Cap 254. The document also consults on the type of authorisation required by a PAFS operator for the delivery of postal articles in Malta.

The MCA welcomes written comments and representations to this report during the national consultation period, which shall run from the 16th November 2018 to the 14th December 2018. Please refer to Section 4 of the consultation document for further details about the submission of comments.